West Asian and North African states’ Response to Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Hirak Jyoti Das, Senior Research Associate, VIF

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched military campaign against Ukraine after months of posturing, military build-ups and breakdown of the Minsk agreement that failed to stall the conflict between Russian-backed separatists in the two breakaway regions i.e. Donetsk and Luhansk.[1] Russia’s policies in Ukraine is aimed at guaranteeing the right to self-determination in Russian dominated territories; demilitarisation; decapitation of the political leadership; placing Ukraine in the Russian sphere of influence and thwarting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)’s advances at any cost. The sanctions by US and European states could destabilise the Russian economy increasing hardships for its citizens. Domestically, the opposition to the conflict is growing which has been met with arrests and use of force. It is likely that the public support for the war would further deteriorate affecting President Vladimir Putin’s popularity and political constituency in the long run. It must be noted that Russia as a major power is determined to protect its core national interests and is willing to bear the costs by economic sanctions, boycotts, and protests. The worsening economic and political pressures would likely force President Putin to take drastic measures further escalating the conflict in Ukraine and Europe.

The conflict has drawn mixed responses by the comity of states based on their national interests and strategic objectives. In the West Asian and North African Region (WANA), the US during the early stages of the conflict was struggling to gather support from its major allies in terms of economic sanctions and diplomatic overtures. For WANA states, Russia’s moves in Ukraine is reminiscent of the playbook used by the US to justify external interventions such as Responsibility to Protect (R2P), recently in the case of Libya in 2011; stoking tensions by supporting self-determination; illegal recognition of Golan Heights and Jerusalem as Israeli territory; spreading misinformation in case of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction programme; regime change efforts in case of Iraq, Libya as well as attempts in Iran, Syria, etc. and disregard for territorial integrity in case of military presence in Syria and Iraq. Russia has applied a similar narrative to justify its ‘humanitarian intervention’ to protect ethnic Russians from ‘genocide’; support for separatists; recognition of the breakaway republics; lies about Ukraine’s nuclear weapons build-up and attempting regime change by overthrowing President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.[2]

It should also be noted that the US allies as well as most states in WANA do not necessarily view Russia as a threat.[3] Russia over the years has emerged as a normal extra-regional enjoying security and tactical understanding with all the key powers. It has benefitted from the missteps taken by the US and European states in the region to entrench its presence. Moscow has emerged as the new security provider in the Syrian conflict and engaged with all foreign participants i.e. Turkey, Israel, Iran, Jordan, and the Persian Gulf states. Russia has supplied a large number of arms; defence equipment and Private Military Contractors (PMC) are embedded in security forces in several West Asian and African states providing training and technical know-how. The Ukraine crisis has forced these states to choose sides between their historic partnership with the U.S. and their growing economic and political ties with Russia.

Reactions from Arab World

In the Arab world, the states are broadly divided into three blocs on the subject of the Russia-Ukraine conflict; firstly, Syria favouring Russia’s actions; secondly, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Libya are rejecting the invasion and thirdly, most states pursuing a neutral stance.[4]

Syria recognised the independence of the two breakaway territories on 22 February.[5] Syria was one of the five states in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to vote against the resolution denouncing the invasion and demanding Russia to withdraw its military presence on 2 March. The Syrian representative at the UN called for rejecting the US hegemony that aims to prolong the crisis, spread chaos, and place unilateral coercive measures. Syria urged member states that invoked the UN Charter to show similar enthusiasm against Israel’s continued occupation of Arab territories as well as the US and Turkey’s presence in Syrian territory that violates its sovereignty.[6]

Reportedly, Syrian fighters specialised in urban combat have been deployed to help Russian forces to take control of Kyiv.[7] Several commentators have noted that the combat experience in Syria in terms of “multi-domain” approach including long-range precision weapons; bombing campaigns; cyber warfare; disinformation and use of paramilitary force have provided valuable lessons for the Russian forces to militarily engage in Ukraine.[8] Syria, therefore, served as a testing ground for Russian weapons and tactics in Ukraine. Russia also deployed MiG-31K fighter jets with hypersonic Kinzhal missiles and long-range Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bombers at Khmeimim Air Base in February 2022 to deter NATO’s actions in the Black Sea region.[9]

Syria’s support for Russian military action against Ukraine could potentially derail the planned multilateral efforts in 2022. Moreover, UN-facilitated aid access via Turkey is planned for renewal in July 2022.[10] In case of continuing hostilities, Russia’s veto could hinder cross-border aid access and worsen the humanitarian crisis in northern Syria. The Russian security understanding with the US in Syria could also unravel. In such a case, Russian forces could challenge the de-confliction lines; block crucial roads, and interfere with drone and reconnaissance flights. [11]

In the second category are states such as Lebanon and Kuwait with a history of external interference and interventions that have taken a public stand condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Kuwait was notably the only Arab state among more than 80 countries to co-sponsor UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution holding Russia accountable for aggression against Ukraine. Kuwait also co-sponsored the UNGA resolution. Kuwaiti Ambassador to the UN, Mansour Ayyad Sh. A. Alotaibi speaking in the General Assembly called the crisis a real test for the UN to defend its founding values and principles. Alotaibi recalling Kuwait’s experience of the 1991 occupation stressed the need for states to follow the UN Charter and international law that provided a “safe haven for small states” to maintain sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence and preserve the concept of collective security. [12]

Lebanese Foreign Ministry in its statement urged Moscow to halt its military operations, withdraw troops, and return to negotiations to resolve the conflict. In the UNGA, Lebanon while voting for the resolution recalled the state’s experience with invasions, occupations, and interference in their internal affairs. Lebanon also talked about the experience of the two World wars which although stemmed from Europe had a profound impact on the region that has currently persisted. [13]

Russia has been highly proactive in responding to states critical of its aggressive policy in Ukraine. Russian Embassy in Beirut expressed surprise for violating the policy of dissociation and picking sides in the crisis. [14] Domestically, the Lebanese government’s statement was criticised by Hezbollah. Hezbollah backed Loyalty and Resistance bloc Member of Parliament Hasan Fadlallah expressed that statement by the Foreign Ministry does not reflect the position of the Lebanese state or people and the statement was made without any discussion in the cabinet. Hezbollah MP and Minister of Labour, Mustafa Bayram said that Foreign Ministry’s condemnation violates the principle of neutrality and likely exposed the country to dangerous repercussions. Ibrahim Al-Moussawi from Loyalty and Resistance bloc sought answers from Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib about the direction of Lebanon’s foreign policy that pretends neutrality and condemns when it wants. [15]

Lebanon facing economic instability is dependent on western states for financial aid and investments. The French Initiative has promised international aid on the condition to form an independent technocratic government capable of carrying out anti-corruption measures and administrative and financial reforms. Therefore, Lebanon’s condemnation of Russia’s actions could improve its credibility and goodwill translating into much needed economic aid.

Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU) released a statement on 22 February rejecting recognition of the two breakaway regions. It denounced the activities of the Russian private military firm, Wagner Group placed in both Libya and Ukraine. Russia has supported the Khalifa Haftar faction in the Libyan civil war by providing military contractors, weapons prolonging the conflict. The Tripoli-based government called on the international community to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.[16]

Policy of Balancing

In the third category are states such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, etc. that adopted an equidistant approach to the conflict. The Gulf States barring Kuwait has attempted to pursue a neutral stance to preserve cooperation with Moscow on geopolitical and energy issues in the initial period. The cracks in the ties with Washington DC by key Arab states over arms deal; Yemen conflict; JCPOA talks; human rights issues and the US repositioning to limit its regional involvement has facilitated strategic hedging by regional players and expanding ties with extra-regional players such as China, Russia, and India in the wider competition. The neutral position of these states is reflected in the statement of the Arab League on 28 February calling the invasion a crisis and urging for a diplomatic solution. It also does not mention Russia as the aggressor. [17]

The voting pattern in the non-binding UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution passed on 2 March reflected the general mood by the member-states about the military campaign. Notably, 141 states supported; 35 states including India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh abstained, and only five states including Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, and Syria rejected the resolution. [18]

Table 1 indicates that Syria opposed; Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan abstained and most states including Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen supported the non-binding UNGA resolution. The UNGA resolution was co-sponsored by four states i.e. Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey.[19] Earlier on 25 February, Kuwait and Turkey co-sponsored the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution to end Russia’s military offensive. The UNSC failed to adopt the resolution due to a veto by Russia. The UNGA voting pattern by West Asian and North African states indicates that it does not favour the military operation that could negatively affect security in the fragile region; raise new geopolitical and economic challenges; disrupt supply chains causing food insecurity; instability in energy supply and pricing. However, these states are unwilling to cut bridges with Russia and join the US bandwagon to sanction and boycott including the energy sector.

The UAE as the only West Asian UNSC non-permanent member joined India and China to abstain from the 25 February UNSC resolution condemning Russia. The UAE's actions indicate its willingness to pursue a more independent foreign policy and maintain engagement with Russia as well as China.[20] The UAE Presidential adviser, Anwar Gargash noted that taking sides would only lead to more violence. The UAE that abstained from voting against Russia in UNSC was forced to accept the changing context in UNGA.[21] The UAE voting for the resolution noted that collective responsibility should be focussed on using all diplomatic channels and the mind-set should change from conflict management to conflict resolution. The UAE delegation emphasised that global solidarity cannot be achieved by focussing on one conflict more than others. [22]

The UAE as well as Saudi Arabia despite voting for withdrawing Russian forces from Ukraine in UNGA has maintained regular ties with Moscow. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were aware that voting in a non-binding UNGA resolution is not likely to alter the energy and tactical understanding with Russia. Saudi Arabia expressing concern over Russia’s actions has indicated that it would not increase oil production to reduce prices that surged due to the crisis. Saudi Arabia has not disavowed from the output agreement it signed with Russia in the OPEC+1 format.[23] The UAE is also part of OPEC with a large number of investments and business ties with Russia. Reportedly, in the first week of March, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan declined calls from US President Joe Biden on the subject of building international support for Ukraine and controlling rising oil prices.[24]

The UAE-US ties have strained after suspension of talks over Abu Dhabi’s bid to purchase F-35 jets; weak protest by Washington DC after Houthi attacks on Emirati territory etc. Saudi Arabia’s relations with the Joe Biden administration have also become frosty over issues such as revival of Iran nuclear deal; weak support in the anti-Houthi campaign; murder accusations against Crown Prince; human rights violations etc. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have insisted the US re-designate Houthis as a terrorist organisation and impose tighter sanctions.[25]

Qatar also stated that it cannot increase its LNG output or drastically redirect its LNG exports to European states. Qatari Ambassador at the UN, Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani speaking at UN appealed to all parties to exercise restraint and opt for diplomatic means to resolve the crisis. [26]

Several Arab states such as Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon etc. depend on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, a neutral position could minimise the risks to food security. Egypt is highly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian wheat contributing 50 percent and 30 percent respectively. [27] It is worried about disruptions in supply through the Black Sea and Turkish Straits. Egyptian government is studying the impact of the crisis on wheat imports assuring reserves for four months. Egypt along with Gulf Statesis seeking to diversify their sources of wheat in light of the crisis. Egyptian government noted that the rise in energy prices and food commodities has stressed the state’s general budget. [28] For Egypt, subsidies on bread are a major social welfare tool to sustain the poor citizens. Egypt while voting for the UNGA resolution pointed out the need to address the root causes of the current crisis. It also criticised economic sanctions that are exploited aggravating humanitarian consequences and increasing the suffering of civilians. [29]

Yemen’s internationally recognised government joined the 141 states to oppose Russia’s military invasion. In the case of Houthis, which controls capital Sanaa; it cautioned Russia and Ukraine to exercise restraint and expressed concern that war could drain Moscow’s capabilities. Earlier on 21 February, senior Houthi figure Mohammed Ali al-Houthi announced the group’s support for Russian recognition of the two breakaway regions. [30]

Among the states that abstained from voting in UNGA, Algeria noted that it favours de-escalation and dialogue to facilitate peaceful coexistence and uphold international peace and security. Iraq argued that the decision to abstain is based on its historical background and sufferings due to continuing conflict against Iraqis. The Iraqi delegation expressed concern about the possibility for extremists to exploit the crisis as well as the division in the international community. [31]

Reactions from the Non-Arab Powers

Iran without terming it as an invasion has suggested that war does not lead to solution and appealed for an immediate ceasefire and political and democratic resolution. At the same time, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh blamed the US-led NATO’s presence for the pervasive crisis in the Eurasia region. [32] Iran’s tactical relations with Russia have expanded in the backdrop of the growth of the Islamic State; support for Bashar Al Assad regime; US sanctions and hostilities with the west. Iran is dependent on Russian support in the JCPOA talks and regional influence. Iran sees Russia’s anti-Western discourse as a welcome sign that indicates its reduced strategic prowess. Iran also emphasised that the Ukraine crisis has displayed that the US cannot be trusted for supporting its allies during periods of crisis. It is likely that the western sanctions could further bring Russia and Iran closer in terms of security and military cooperation. Moreover, the crisis could lead the US to offer concessions during JCPOA talks to balance its ties with Iran. [33]

Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the Iranian leadership in January 2022 to boost ties. In terms of trade, Iran is eager to boost trade from the current US$ 3.5 billion to US$ 10 billion. [34] Iran is also looking for help from Russia to complete Hormozgan nuclear power plant and renew a 20-year comprehensive cooperation agreement. [35] In case of energy sanctions on Iran and the inability of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar to increase their oil and gas output, Iran could serve as a source to provide much-needed oil and gas to European markets.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on 24 February condemned the attack as a grave violation of the international order. [36] However, President Issac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennet avoided referring to Russia as responsible for the crisis. [37] Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman talked about prioritising the safety of large Jewish communities in Russia and Ukraine. It, therefore, intended to maintain a low profile.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Noa Furman mentioned that war does not resolve conflict calling the Russian attack a serious violation of international order. [38] Israel enjoying deep ties with both states has offered its diplomatic service to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. In fact, Prime Minister Naftali Bennet met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 5 March. The Israeli leadership has been communicating with both Russia and Ukraine to resolve the crisis. Israeli commentators have argued that it is unlikely Bennet would be able to convince Putin to withdraw its military plans. [39] With regard to Ukraine, Israel provided medical supplies, water purification systems, emergency water supply kits, and winter gear as a humanitarian gesture. [40] Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk on 11 March complained that Tel Aviv has avoided taking sides and failed to provide sufficient aid including defensive equipment such as helmets, flak jackets, etc.[41] Israel’s cooperation and coordination with Russian forces in Syria is a strategic asset for Israel. In the background of renewed JCPOA talks, Israel cannot afford to degrade engagement with Russia that allows it to target Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria.[42]

Turkey on 21 February rejected Russia’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk.[43] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to the Russian attack maintained constant touch with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. On 24 February 2022, the Turkish President expressed sadness over the military campaign and announced support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity at a security summit in Ankara.[44] Turkey after a request from Ukraine blocked Russian warships to pass through Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits.[45] Turkey has also increased coordination with the US in light of the Ukraine crisis.[46] Washington DC’s ties with Ankara, a NATO member have suffered in recent years due to policy differences in Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean region, and the purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems that invited US sanctions.[47]

Turkey is a maritime neighbour of Russia and Ukraine and enjoys warm ties with both states. Turkey while opposing Russia’s military advance has objected to sweeping sanctions with high humanitarian costs. Turkey similar to Israel is seeking to pose itself as a mediator to dilute tensions. In Syria, Turkey would seek to maintain the tactical understanding with Russia to prevent Syrian forces from advancing in Idlib and north-western areas controlled by Turkish forces.

Conclusion

The position taken by WANA on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is based on their national interests and strategic objectives. Russia’s strategic heft in the region has increased over the years in light of the US repositioning in the region. The strategic hedging between the west and China and Russia is likely to remain in the near future. Most West Asian states that voted in favour of ending the military aggression in UNGA however continue to enjoy warm ties with Russia. The foreign policy posture of West Asian states indicates that while it disfavours Russian military efforts in Ukraine that could affect regional security, it does not want to disrupt its relations with Moscow. The economic sanctions imposed by the US and European states have by far failed Russia to deter its military plans in Ukraine.

Endnotes :

[1]Al Jazeera, “Ukraine-Russia crisis: What is the Minsk Agreement,” Al Jazeera, February 9, 2022, at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/9/what-is-the-minsk-agreement-and-why-is-it-relevant-now (Accessed March 3, 2022).
[2]M. Bishara, “And So, Cold War II begins,” Al Jazeera, February 24, 2022, at https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/2/24/and-so-cold-war-ii-begins (Accessed March 2, 2022).
[3]M. N. Katz, “Why America’s Middle Eastern allies haven’t condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine,” The Hill, February 28, 2022, at https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/596064-why-americas-middle-eastern-allies-havent-condemned-russias-war-in?rl=1 (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[4]R. Slim, “The divided regional response to Russia’s invasion,” Middle East Institute, February 28, 2022, at https://www.mei.edu/blog/special-briefing-middle-east-and-russian-invasion-ukraine(Accessed March 4, 2022).
[5]Middle East Monitor, “Syria, Yemen’s Houthis recognise independence of Russia-backed Donetsk, Luhansk,” Middle East Monitor, February 22, 2022, at https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220222-syria-yemens-houthis-recognise-independence-of-russia-backed-donetsk-luhansk/ (Accessed March 4, 2022).
[6]The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The UN Resolution on Ukraine: How Did the Middle East Vote?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/un-resolution-ukraine-how-did-middle-east-vote (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[7]P. Ghosh, “Russia now recruiting Syrian fighters to capture Kyiv, offering $300: Reports,” Hindustan Times, March 7, 2022, at https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/russia-now-recruiting-syrian-fighters-to-capture-kyiv-offering-300-reports-101646616410817.html (Accessed March 8, 2022).
[8]Business Standard, “Russia’s Syria intervention provided hints for Ukraine invasion,” Business Standard, March 1, 2022, at https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/russia-s-syria-intervention-provided-hints-for-ukraine-invasion-122030100425_1.html (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[9]NDTV, “Russia Sends Hypersonic-Armed Fighter Jets To Syria For Drills: Report,” NDTV, February 15, 2022, at https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/russia-sends-hypersonic-armed-fighter-jets-to-syria-for-drills-report-2770664 (Accessed March 6, 2022).
[10]UN, “Security Council Extends use of Border Crossing for Humanitarian Aid into Syria, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2585 (2021),” UN, July 9, 2021, at https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sc14577.doc.htm (Accessed March 3, 2022).
[11]C. Lister, “The profound impact of Russia’s invasion on Syria,” Middle East Institute, February 28, 2022, at https://www.mei.edu/blog/special-briefing-middle-east-and-russian-invasion-ukraine (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[12]UN, “As Russian Federation’s Invasion of Ukraine Creates new Global Era, Member States Must take Sides, Choose between peace, Aggression, General Assembly Hears,” UN, March 1, 2022, at https://www.un.org/press/en/2022/ga12406.doc.htm (Accessed March 4, 2022).
[13]The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The UN Resolution on Ukraine: How Did the Middle East Vote?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/un-resolution-ukraine-how-did-middle-east-vote (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[14]Reuters, “Russia says it is surprised by Lebanon’s condemnation of invasion,” Reuters, February 25, 2022, at https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-says-it-is-surprised-by-lebanons-condemnation-invasion-2022-02-25/ (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[15]Middle East Monitor, “Lebanon’s Hezbollah rejects FM condemnation of Ukraine invasion,” Middle East Monitor, February 27, 2022, at https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220227-lebanons-hezbollah-rejects-fm-condemnation-of-ukraine-invasion/ (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[16]M. Dene, H. Labow& C. Silber, “Middle East Responses to the Ukraine Crisis,” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 4, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/middle-east-responses-ukraine-crisis (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[17]M. A. Zaid, “Arab League following Ukraine developments with ‘great concern’,” Arab News, February 28, 2022, at https://www.arabnews.com/node/2033381/middle-east (Accessed March 4, 2022).
[18]Al Jazeera, “UN General Assembly demands Russia withdraw troops from Ukraine,” Al Jazeera, March 3, 2022, at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/3/un-general-assembly-demands-russia-withdraw-troops-from-ukraine (Accessed March 4, 2022).
[19]The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The UN Resolution on Ukraine: How Did the Middle East Vote?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/un-resolution-ukraine-how-did-middle-east-vote (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[20]Financial Times, “Gulf states’ neutrality on Ukraine reflects deeper Russian ties,” Financial Times, February 28, 2022, at https://www.ft.com/content/5e3b0998-705f-46c4-8010-9972b3c8a847 (Accessed March 6, 2022).
[21]Reuters, “UAE not taking sides in Ukraine conflict, senior official says,” Reuters, February 27, 2022, at https://www.reuters.com/world/uae-not-taking-sides-ukraine-conflict-favours-negotiations-official-2022-02-27/ (Accessed March 6, 2022).
[22]The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The UN Resolution on Ukraine: How Did the Middle East Vote?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/un-resolution-ukraine-how-did-middle-east-vote (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[23]CSIS, “Hedging, Hunger, and Hostilities: The Middle East after Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 25, 2022, at https://www.csis.org/analysis/hedging-hunger-and-hostilities-middle-east-after-russias-invasion-ukraine (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[24]Middle East Eye, “Saudi Arabia and UAE leaders ‘reject calls with US President Biden,” Middle East Eye, March 9, 2022, at https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-uae-leaders-mbs-mbz-reject-call-biden (Accessed March 10, 2022).
[1]Firstpost, “Ukraine crisis: Saudi Arabia, UAE divided over choice between US and Russia,” Firstpost, February 27, 2022, at https://www.firstpost.com/world/ukraine-crisis-saudi-arabia-uae-divided-over-choice-between-us-and-russia-10411771.html (Accessed March 11, 2022).
[26]M. Dene, H. Labow& C. Silber, “Middle East Responses to the Ukraine Crisis,” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 4, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/middle-east-responses-ukraine-crisis (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[27]S E. Safty, “Ukraine crisis throws Egypt’s wheat purchases into doubt,” Reuters, March 4, 2022, at https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/ukraine-crisis-throws-egypts-wheat-purchases-into-doubt-2022-03-03/ (Accessed March 8, 2022).
[28]A. Kandil, “Egypt reviews plans to cope with Ukraine crisis’ impact on wheat imports, tourism, petroleum prices,” Ahram Online, February 24, 2022, at https://english.ahram.org.eg/News/461661.aspx (Accessed March 3, 2022).
[29]The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The UN Resolution on Ukraine: How Did the Middle East Vote?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/un-resolution-ukraine-how-did-middle-east-vote (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[30]M. Dene, H. Labow& C. Silber, “Middle East Responses to the Ukraine Crisis,” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 4, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/middle-east-responses-ukraine-crisis (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[31]The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The UN Resolution on Ukraine: How Did the Middle East Vote?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2, 2022, at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/un-resolution-ukraine-how-did-middle-east-vote (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[32]M. Motamedi, “Rooted in NATO: iran responds to Russia’s Ukraine attack,” Al Jazeera, February 24, 2022, at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/24/rooted-in-nato-inside-irans-response-to-the-ukraine-crisis-2 (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[33]A. Vatanka, “Iran’s response to the Ukraine crisis highlights internal divides,” Middle East Institute, February 28, 2022, at https://www.mei.edu/blog/special-briefing-middle-east-and-russian-invasion-ukraine (Accessed March 9, 2022).
[34]V. Isachenkov, “Putin hosts Iranian president for Kremlin talks,” The Star, January 19, 2022, at https://www.thestar.com/news/world/europe/2022/01/19/putin-hosts-iranian-president-for-kremlin-talks.html (Accessed March 8, 2022).
[35]M. Motamedi, “Rooted in NATO: iran responds to Russia’s Ukraine attack,” Al Jazeera, February 24, 2022, at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/24/rooted-in-nato-inside-irans-response-to-the-ukraine-crisis-2 (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[36]L. Berman, “Jerusalem pans Russian attack on Ukraine: ‘A grave violation of international order’,” The Times of Israel, February 24, 2022, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-pans-russian-attack-on-ukraine-a-grave-violation-of-international-order/ (Accessed March 9, 2022).
[37]L. Berman, “Bennett refrains from condemning Russia in first remarks since invasion of Ukraine,” The Times of Israel, February 24, 2022, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/bennett-refrains-from-condemning-russia-in-first-remarks-since-invasion-of-ukraine/ (Accessed March 8, 2022).
[38]J. Magid, “Condemning Russia on global stage, Israel at Un says Ukraine invasion must end,” The Times of Israel, March 2, 2022, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/condemning-russia-on-global-stage-israel-at-un-says-ukraine-invasion-must-end/ (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[39]The Times of Israel, “Bennett flies to Moscow, meets with Putin about Ukraine war, Iran nuke talks,” The Times of Israel, March 5, 2022, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/bennett-flies-to-moscow-holds-talks-with-putin-on-ukraine-war/ (Accessed March 6, 2022).
[40]The Times of Israel, “100-ton Israeli shipment of humanitarian aid for Ukrainians arrives in Poland,” The Times of Israel, March 4, 2022, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/100-ton-israeli-shipment-of-humanitarian-aid-for-ukrainians-arrives-in-poland/ (Accessed March 7, 2022).
[41]C. Keller-Lynn, “Ukraine envoy says Zelensky can’t understand Israel’s refusal to provide defensive equipment,” The Times of Israel, March 11, 2022, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/ukraine-envoy-says-zelensky-cant-understand-israels-refusal-to-provide-defensive-equipment/ (Accessed March 12, 2022).
[42]Al-Monitor, “Russian invasion of Ukraine scrambles Middle East diplomacy,” Al-Monitor, February 26, 2022, at https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/02/russian-invasion-ukraine-scrambles-middle-east-diplomacy (Accessed March 5, 2022).
[43]Hurriyet Daily News, “Turkey says Russian recognition of breakaway regions in Ukraine ‘unacceptable’,” Hurriyet Daily News, February 22, 2022, at https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-rejects-russias-recognition-of-two-breakaway-states-in-ukraine-171712 (Accessed March 11, 2022).
[44]Daily Sabah, “Turkey to continue support Ukraine’s territorial integrity, unity,” Daily sabah, February 24, 2022, at https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/turkey-to-continue-support-ukraines-territorial-integrity-unity (Accessed March 12, 2022).
[45]S. Tavsan, “Turkey rejects Russia’s request for navy ships to pass Bosporus,” Nikkei Asia, March 2, 2022, at https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Ukraine-war/Turkey-rejects-Russia-s-request-for-navy-ships-to-pass-Bosporus (Accessed March 11, 2022).
[46]Reuters, “Turkey and US will coordinate response to Ukraine war, Ankara says,” Reuters, March 6, 2022, at https://www.reuters.com/world/turkey-us-will-coordinate-response-ukraine-war-ankara-says-2022-03-05/ (Accessed March 12, 2022).
[47]A. Macias, “US sanctions Turkey over purchase of Russian S-400 missile system,” CNBC, December 14, 2020, at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/14/us-sanctions-turkey-over-russian-s400.html (Accessed March 12, 2022).

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